Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day One -- Finally

It has been a hectic road to get to this point, with lots to do and little snow, and while feeling glum when the snow turned to rain the other night, I knew it was actually to our benefit. As with everything in life, you need to start with a foundation. In the Nordic ski world, a firm or frozen base is ideal in getting started to capture and insulate natural snow, so the rain on snow was a great setup for us as single-digit temperatures sealed our needed foundation. And that is where we begin.

Today, up at 5:30am, check several weather service and forecast sites, update website with info from that and previous night's snow plan meeting. Out on snowmobile by 6:45am in clear crisp air at 3 degrees. Watching the sunrise filter in during early morning grooming is something I will always cherish around here, with several spectacular spots getting sun in sequence as the sun slowly climbs above the hills and lights up the trees with low angle golden glow. With the roller and its corduroy-creating drag, I work my way through the trail system checking things out, closing off hazards, checking snow conditions. I closed the trails that I knew were hazards and moved through the system, getting back for the opening of the ski shop. Chop wood, make a fire, people coming in, tickets, wickets, maps, get'em rolling with rentals -- it was a nice familiar rush. New customers and familiar faces like Peter Horvath and Beth Maher, smiles, and excitement of skiers filtering out across the trails for their first season outing.

We wanted to get the word out to you die-hard skiers anxiously awaiting ski season that we had ski-able terrain, and many came. With Intermediate-level and up skiing conditions, many of you found that there was indeed good snow out there amongst the tough spots. Early season indeed. I was able to get out onto a few trails with our "powder maker" implement that chews up and softens the firm snow. Back to the shop; more customer service, chat about gear, help some new skiers, back to shop, service the powder maker, put away machines, close shop. After a snow-plan meeting with my lead groomer, I head out only to be back at 8:00pm for my scheduled Natural Light Nite Hike. With about 10 in our group, we hike to the Hooper solely by natural light to watch the stars and garnet stones twinkle in the clear night air. It is spectacular up there, and even more-so with a clear and moonless sky, and young Nathaniel from Long Island even found a garnet stone to bring home! As we were leaving, the skies started to thicken slightly, and we hope that means more snow for us. Back to the lodge to help out, getting to bed at midnight. T'was a great start to the season, finally!

Amongst the familiar faces we saw today was Aimes from Connecticut. He brings a great event to Garnet Hill Ski Shop -- the Empire Orienteering Club Ski Orienteering event this Sunday, January 1st! Open to anyone and all abilities, the event features 3 unique courses to navigate with map and compass upon skis, and you may start anytime between 11:00am and 1:00pm. This event is also a qualifier for the Empire State Games, so come join the fun. More details to follow.

So come on out -- skiing is pretty nice. Moderating temperatures and more snow is in the forecast, so will only get better! Midnight now -- time for bed.

Shannen grooming it smooth

Climbing Andy's Run to the Lodge (and a hot lunch!)
A long way from Long Island

On the rim of the Hooper Mine

1 comment:

  1. "Hi!" to the Lipinski family and friends from Long Island. I WISH I WAS THERE! Have fun and I can't wait to see your pictures and Nate's garnet! -Julie